Photo: Entering “the room”.

Day trip to Ko Hong

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A hundred shades of green glistened on a sea cave wall. Choppy water smoothed to a calm emerald, the wind disappearing as our boat slipped between a pair of limestone cliffs. After a deep breath, we emerged into a vast lagoon at the centre of Ko Hong, or “Room Island.” Of the many small islands off the coast of Krabi province that can be reached only as day trips, this is the one we’d prioritise.





Due west of Tup Kaek beach and east of Ko Yao Noi in Phra Nang Bay, Ko Hong (aka Ko Lao Phi Lae) is the largest of some 13 tiny islands that collectively form the MuKo Hong group. While they’re overseen by Than Bok Khorani National Park, the park’s visitor centre and other attractions are located some 60 km to the north, on the mainland, and are rarely visited on the same day.

When the crowds part it is a pretty stunning spot. Photo taken in or around Day trip to Ko Hong, Ao Nang, Thailand by David Luekens.

When the crowds part it is a pretty stunning spot. Photo: David Luekens

Our speedboat tour departed from Ao Nang beach in the morning, but only after two hours of waiting and picking up more passengers from Railay and other beaches. Once we were off, a windy 30-minute cruise ended at the first stop: Ko Phak Bia.

A blip of an island with no development save an outhouse, Phak Bia’s signature feature is an eight-metre-high limestone rock that has eroded at its base, resembling a shaggy mushroom just offshore. Though not long or wide, a grainy tan sand bar is touched by clear water on two sides at low tide. We were one among roughly 10 boats here at the time.

Enough time to swim on both sides of Ko Phak Bia. Photo taken in or around Day trip to Ko Hong, Ao Nang, Thailand by David Luekens.

Enough time to swim on both sides of Ko Phak Bia. Photo: David Luekens

The next stop was a small, sheltered bay on Ko Lao Lading, or “Paradise Island.” With a fine tan-sand beach buttressed on three sides by vertical cliffs and small caves, it was easy to see why they call it paradise. The calm water was plenty deep for a refreshing swim. We were told that a reef is found just offshore, but visibility was too poor for ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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